Browns Preview Capsule

CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-9)

New faces: QB Josh McCown, WRs Dwayne Bowe, WR Brian Hartline and WR Terrelle Pryor, CB Tramon Williams, DL Randy Starks, TE Rob Housler, P Andy Lee, DL Danny Shelton.

Key losses: QB Brian Hoyer, TE Jordan Cameron, WRs Josh Gordon and WR Miles Austin, CB Buster Skrine, DTs Ahtyba Rubin and DT Phil Taylor, K Billy Cundiff, P Spencer Lanning.

Strengths: OL, DB, DL, P.

Weaknesses: QB, RB, WR.

What’s New: The offense has been re-designed by new coordinator John DeFilippo, who spent past three seasons in charge of Oakland’s quarterbacks. McCown went 1-10 as a starter last season with Tampa Bay and he’s a stop-gap answer until the Browns figure out if Johnny Manziel can be their future. Lack of playmakers could be big issue for a team that finished last in the league in third-down efficiency.

Fantasy Tip: RB Isaiah Crowell had eight rushing touchdowns as a rookie and could become feature back – as long as he holds onto the ball. Rookie back Duke Johnson was slowed by hamstring injury in training camp, but Browns have big plans for third-round draft pick from Miami.

Expectations: Browns started 7-4 under first-year coach Mike Pettine last season then tanked. They were very competitive within arguably the NFL’s toughest division, but owner Jimmy Haslam wants team to take next step. McCown needs to start well or team could switch to Manziel quickly. Defense has chance to be elite.

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